Mayor announces new Arts and Music in Parks permit

May 30th, 2016


Great Heart Festival 2015 in Trinity Bellwoods Park

Earlier this afternoon, Toronto Mayor John Tory announced a new ‘Arts and Music in Parks’ permit, which will make it easier to animate the city’s parks with small-scale art and music performances. The new permit, which is available throughout the summer months, is intended to reduce red tape by creating a new, free permit category with expedited and simplified processing.

The announcement was made in Christie Pits Park, in partnership with the Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation. The Mayor was joined by Councillor John Filion (Ward 23 Willowdale), the City’s Arts Advocate, Councillor Mike Layton (Ward 19 Trinity-Spadina), Vice-Chair of the Parks and Environment Committee, and Claire Hopkinson, Director and CEO of Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation.

The Arts in the Parks initiative, which preceded and inspired this new permit, is a free outdoor initiative supported by the Toronto Arts Foundation that brings arts events (including music) to parks across the city.

“This new permit is an example of concrete steps we are taking to turn Toronto into a music city. This was based on advice we received from musicians themselves through Toronto’s Music Advisory Council and the Great Heart Festival, who had difficulty navigating bureaucracy at City Hall,” said Mayor Tory in a press release. “I want to continue to show our commitment to the city’s arts and music communities, and this new permit underscores this.”

The Arts and Music in Parks permit will put different kinds of arts in more than 20 different parks throughout the city, and these are not just limited to the downtown core. The pre-designated parks include locations in Etobicoke, North York, and Scarborough, too.

“This innovative initiative will give musicians and artists a chance to showcase their art with new audiences,” said Councillor Filion. “The partnership expands opportunities for residents to experience art and music, as well.”

“Making it easier for small-scale art and music events to take place in our parks will help to foster community, providing social spaces where neighbours can get to know each other. This is the kind of initiative that makes Toronto beautiful and our parks loved public spaces,” said Councillor Layton.